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THE USE OF CARTOON FILMS TO IMPROVE STUDENTS’ SKILL IN WRITING


NARRATIVE TEXTS

Vivit Kumala Dewi


English Education Study Program
Sebelas Maret University Surakarta

Email: vividewiq@ymail.com

Abstract: The objectives of the research are: (1)to find out whether the students’
skill in writing narrative texts can be improved by using cartoon films. (2)to find out the
effectiveness of the teaching and learning process when cartoon films are used in
teaching writing narrative texts. The researcher collected the data using qualitative and
quantitative data. The improvement of students’ writing skill includes: (1) having an
abundance of vocabulary; (2) using correct capitalizations and spelling; (3) making
sentences grammatically; (4) developing their ideas into coherent paragraphs. The
effectiveness of using cartoon films shown in: (1) motivating students to write; (2)
making the lesson more clearly (3) increasing their interest; (4) increasing their
attention. The students’ score in pre-test was 61.77, post-test 1 in cycle 1 was 70.6, and
post-test 2 in cycle 2 was 74.90. It can be concluded that the use of cartoon films can
improve students’ skill in writing narrative text.

Key words: writing skill, narrative text, cartoon films, SMP N 1 Sidoharjo Sragen

In teaching learning English at


Junior High School, there should be skill from this research is that the students
language practice in each language skill, of eight grades in SMP N 1 Sidoharjo
including writing skill. Writing will help Sragen can produce texts with a good
students master the other skills and of content and organization; correct grammar
course in mastering English completely. and mechanical; and also appropriate
Even Celce-Murcia (2001: 206) states that vocabulary; with reasonable coherence and
the major achievement of writing is the accuracy.
ability to express one’s idea in writing in a
second foreign language and to do so with The researcher did preliminary class
reasonable coherence and accuracy; that observation and pre- test to find the
many native speakers of English never truly problem in class VIII B SMP N Negeri 1
master this skill. According to Brown Sidoharjo Sragen. Based on the pre-test, the
(2001: 335), the criteria of good writing are researcher got the data of the students’
content, organization, vocabulary use, problem. Most of them had difficulties in
grammatical use and mechanical writing narrative text because: (1) The
considerations such as spelling and students’ lack of vocabulary and the
punctuation. It means that writing is an students’ difficulties in using appropriate
ability to express one’s idea which should vocabulary so they could not develop their
have good criteria, such as: good content writing. (2) The students had low skill in
and organization; correct grammar and using correct capitalizations and spelling.
mechanics; and also appropriate Some of them wrote ‘one upon a time,
vocabulary. The ideal condition of writing There lived two best friends’. There was
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another student who had similar problems. teaching- learning process especially in
They wrote ‘chity’ instead of ‘city’, ‘merid’ language teaching. Kemp (1963: 3) states
instead ‘marriage”. They were unaware when such audiovisual materials as slides,
with their own problems. (3) The students filmstrips, overhead transparencies, and
could not write correct sentences motion pictures (film) are carefully
grammatically. (4) The students’ mastery in prepared, they can: increase understanding;
using grammar needed some guidance. add interest to a subject; lengthen the
They were unable to express an idea memory of information; and teach a skill
successfully because they were unable to effectively. Cartoon, according to Wittich
use correct grammar. Some of them made and Schuller (1953: 138), elicits great
‘Malin Kundang is a kind person’ instead of interest, builds confidence. The humor in
‘Malin Kundang was a kind person’. (5) cartoon has great benefits to stimulate
The students were not able to develop their students in teaching learning process, such
ideas into coherent paragraphs. Their as: making students feel relax and enjoyable
paragraphs were not joined together. They in class; making students paid attention to
also could not organize well their idea into the story of cartoon films.
narrative text. Based on the background of the study,
Some factors caused the students the writer formulates the problems of the
had difficulties in writing narrative texts study as follows: (1) Can and to what extent
was the way of teacher taught in class. The the use of cartoon films improve the
class was not interesting as the teacher was students’ skill in writing narrative texts? (2)
not accustomed using interactive media How effective is the teaching and learning
such as picture and sound in his teaching. process when cartoon films are used to
English writing in class VIII B taught using teach writing narrative texts of class VIII B
traditional methods. With a teacher- SMP Negeri 1 Sidoharjo Sragen?
centered approach, students usually sit, Communication has an important
listen and hopefully learn. It seems that the role in human’s life because by doing it,
classroom activities in traditional method they can express their idea or feeling to
were listening to the explanations of rules other people. Communication can be
to make a good paragraph with certain divided into two ways, written and oral.
topic. When the teacher used inappropriate Written communication needs writing skill
or monotonous techniques in teaching while oral one needs speaking skill.
writing, the students could be bored and Even Celce-Murcia (2001: 206)
unmotivated to learn. It directly influenced states that the major achievement of writing
the product of students’ achievement of is the ability to express one’s idea in writing
writing. These factors made the in a second foreign language and to do so
unsuccessful of English learning and the with reasonable coherence and accuracy;
students needed to get serious attention. that many native speakers of English never
The researcher proposes Cartoon truly master this skill. Hedge in Maley
Films as teaching media to improve (1998: 5) makes a comparison between
students’ skill in writing narrative texts. writing and speech, which effective writing
Cartoon Films as an audiovisual media can needs a number of things; a high degree of
motivate students in learning process, organization in the development of ideas
especially in writing English. Cartoon Films and information; a high degree of accuracy
also have significant advantages in so that there is no ambiguity of meaning;
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the use of complex grammatical devices for Films are made in different kinds
focus and emphasis; and a careful choice of and different purposes. According to
vocabulary, grammatical patterns, and Bordwell and Thompson (1997: 50), kinds
sentence structures to create a style which is of film are broken down into: (1) Animated
appropriate to the subject matter and the Films. They generally consist of drawing
eventual readers. and paintings by artist called cartoons. (2)
While May (1996: 61) says that to Documentary Films. Documentary films
be a succeeded in writing usually requires present information on many subjects. They
completing the task set with accurate show men life and work throughout the
grammar, spelling, and punctuation; world. They explain events in science and
adequate vocabulary; suitable layout and processes in technology, and illustrate
clear handwriting; cohesion within a text; various aspects of life in nature. (3)
and a style appropriate to the context. Based Experimental and Avant- Garde Films.
on some definitions above, it can be Experimental films are made for many
concluded that writing is an ability how to reasons. The film maker may wish to
express one’s idea, develop his idea in express personal experiences or viewpoints
detail, and express them in orderly in ways that would seem eccentric in
sentences in form of written which needs mainstream context. The film maker may
particular aspects such as vocabulary, also use staging to express distinct feelings
grammar, spelling, punctuation, and or ideas. Any sort of footage may be used
cohesion within a text. for several avant- garde films.
Basically, film and movie is the Not surprisingly, young people like
same thing. Unwin and McAleese (1978: cartoons. Cartoon, according to Wittich and
571) state that movie is originally a slang Schuller (1953: 138), elicits great interest,
term for cine film, moving pictures, now builds confidence. The humor in cartoon
often used to describe equipment and has great benefit to stimulate students in
materials used by amateur film maker. teaching learning process. For this reason, it
Then, Hornby (1995: 434) defines films as stands that cartoon can increase the
a story recorded as a set of moving pictures students’ interest and motivation in class.
to be shown on television or the cinema. Wittich and Schuller (1962: 135)
Meanwhile, Allen and Gomery (1985: 136) say that cartoon is a pictorial representation
state that film is an art which portrays or caricature of a person, idea, or situation
man’s interpretation of life. From that that is designed to influence public opinion.
definition about film above, it can be While cartoon, in Oxford American Word
concluded that film is a set of moving Power Dictionary (1998), is a movie or
pictures which express a certain theme, television program that tells a story by
idea, or story based on man’s interpretation using moving drawings instead of real
of life. people and places.
Film is a term associated to the art Another expert, Poulson says that
of making motion pictures. When we say basically a cartoon is a form of media
film, we refer to a motion picture usually which uses animation and characters. The
projected through big screen as in the characters are shown with simplified
cinemas for the purpose of public viewing features which are still maintaining an
whether to educate, provide information or ability to be recognized. Mickey mouse and
entertain. Bugs Bunny are recognizably a mouse and
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a rabbit, even if we didn’t know their learning process especially in language
names. teaching. Kemp (1963: 3) states when such
Canning-Wilson (2000) notes that audiovisual materials as slides, filmstrips,
visuals, including cartoons, used to help one overhead transparencies, and motion
see an immediate meaning in the language pictures (film) are carefully prepared they
may benefit the learner by helping to clarify can: 1) Increase understanding; 2) Add
the message, provided the visual works in a interest to a subject; 3) Lengthen the
positive way to enhance or supplement the memory of information; 4) Teach a skill
language point. According to some effectively; 5) Contribute to a desirable
definition above, it can be concluded that attitude; 6) Stimulate people to action; 7)
cartoon is a pictorial representation or Offer experiences not easily obtained in
caricature of a person, idea, or situation by other ways.
using moving drawings instead of real
people and places that provided the visual RESEARCH METHODS
works in a positive way to enhance or This research was carried out in
supplement the language point. SMP Negeri 1 Sidoharjo Sragen. The
Harmer (2007: 118) states that research method used in this study is
cartoons can offer a wealth of possibilities. Classroom Action Research. There some
Teacher can ask the students to write definition of action research given by some
description of one of a group of cartoons; expert. Mills (2000: 5) propose action
their classmate then have guess which one research as systematic inquiry done by the
it is. The aim of this activity is to get the teachers or other individuals in teaching or
students’ writing freely in an engaging learning environment to gather information
ways. about and subsequently improve the ways
Through the definition of film and their particular school operates, how they
cartoon above, it can be concluded that teach, and how well the students learn.
cartoon film is a set of moving pictures According to Cohen and Manion in
which express a certain theme, idea, or Nunan (1992: 18), action research is being
story based on man’s interpretation of life concerned with the identification and
by using moving drawings instead of real solution of problems in a specific context.
people and places provided the visual works McKay (1992) states action research is an
in a positive way to enhance or supplement effective strategy for engaging educators in
the language point. The researcher used the change process. Educators involved in
cartoon films with script dialogue in writing action research think about a specific group
class. Cartoon film which contents audio in particular setting with the main goal of
and visual is a suitable media for Junior finding better ways to do their job.
High School because it increases the Kemmis in Hopkins (1993: 44)
students’ interest and motivation in propose that action research is a form of
teaching and learning process. By watching self- reflective inquiry conducted by
cartoon films as teaching media, the participants in a social interaction situation
students will helped in getting the idea to (including education) in order to improve
write and to use an appropriate vocabulary educational practice by group or
that can be seen through the cartoon film. participants and by means of own reflection
Cartoon Films as audiovisual media upon effects of these actions.
have significant advantages in teaching-
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Finally based on those definitions, also proposed numerical scores for each of
above that action research is a systematic categories.
inquiry to overcome educational problems In this classroom action research,
which covers observation, analysis, and the researcher collected the data using
adjustment where there the educators qualitative and quantitative data. The
involves themselves in action to come into qualitative data was collected from
the goal of understanding teaching and observations, interviews, while quantitative
learning process in the classroom, and to data collected from the students’ writing
make improvement in classroom practice. score in pretest and posttest. They
The action research’s procedure explained as follows: (1) Observation.
includes planning, action, observation, and Observation was a kind of activities in
reflection. They are as follows: (1) action research that enables researchers to
Planning. The researcher sets the document and reflect systematically upon
procedures and prepares everything related classroom interaction and events, as they
to the action that will be implemented, that actually occur rather than as we think they
is, cartoon films. The forms of the cartoon occur. During the implementation of
films are taken from internet. (2) Action interview technique in teaching speaking,
includes: giving pre test, teaching writing the researcher was an active participant
narrative texts by using cartoon films, teacher and also observer. He observed the
asking the students that they face some process of teaching and learning. The
difficulties or not, giving post test. (3) observation itself was done in five times.
Observation. Observation is one of the The result of the observation was written in
instruments in collecting the data. The the form of field notes. Field notes are
researcher observes the application of the descriptions and accounts of events in the
lesson plans, students’ activities in teaching research context that are written in
and learning process. (4) Reflection. The relatively factual and objective style. The
researcher analyzes the collected data, researcher made note to all activities during
determines whether the action is successful the lesson, and noted the students’ reaction
or unsuccessful. The result of this step will and response to the learning. (2) Interview.
be basic for the next activity or cycle and The researcher made interview to the
also will answer the hypothesis that has teacher and the students. In the pre-
been proposed by the writer before the research, the researcher made interview to
action carried out. In scoring the data of them in order to know what problems faced
writing ability, the researcher needs help especially in writing. Interview to the
from one who is regarded to have enough teacher was done in the office. Interview to
capability in scoring writing. It is done to the students was done in the classroom. (3)
avoid subjectivity of scoring. The grade of Test. The researcher gave test of writing
writing ability is taken from criteria of narrative text. There were pre test and post
writing test. According to Ganesee and test which used to collect the data of the
Upshur (1996: 207) there are five general improvement.
categories which are often used for the The classroom action research
evaluation of students writing, namely analyzes the data from qualitative and
content, organization, language use or quantitative. The quantitative data is
grammar, vocabulary, and mechanics. They analyzed using statistic descriptive
technique. The result of the observation,
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interview is the qualitative data. The students were not able to develop their
observation and interview describe how the ideas into coherent paragraphs. The
process of teaching in writing narrative researcher also found that the class was not
texts by using cartoon films runs in the interesting as the teacher was not
classroom through qualitative methodology. accustomed using interactive media such as
The description shows how cartoon films picture and sound. The students were
can influence the students’ skill in writing passive and the way of the teacher delivered
narrative texts. the material was boring. The teacher more
In analyzing quantitative data, the concerned with LKS (Lembar Kerja Siswa)
researcher used statistic descriptive and did not use other kinds of media. In
technique. It was done by describing the writing stage the teacher just asked the
tests results. The researcher gives test to students to make a story based on the topic.
measure students’ skill in writing narrative Most of the students were confused because
texts by using cartoon films. They are pre- they did not really understand about the plot
test and post- test. The pre- test is given to of the story and most of them did not have
the students before each of the cycles of enough vocabulary related to the story that
classroom action research and the post- test they were going to write. In the
is given after each of the cycle. The results organization they also face some
of pre- test and post- test are analyzed to difficulties, they wrote only beginning and
show the achievement data. This analysis to then ending without the middle of the story
find out means can be used to prove and there were some students who wrote
whether or not teaching writing using the beginning, middle and without ending.
cartoons films can improve the students’ It can be seen that they did not understand
skill in writing narrative texts. enough about the organization of the story.
By interviewing the English teacher,
the researcher found some problems that
RESEARCH FINDING AND were faced by the English teacher. She
DISCUSSION stated that only 60% of students in VIII B
The researcher had done some pre- who passed the exam and the rest failed in
observation by interviewing the English writing section. She also stated that the
teacher and the students of VIII B of SMP students rarely practice writing and they
Negeri 1 Sidoharjo Sragen to know their asked to finish their writing at home. At
problem in teaching learning English. The their home, they did not get enough
researcher also observed the effectiveness guidance when they do their task in writing
of the way the teacher taught while teaching skill.
learning process was happening in class. In After the researcher did preliminary
this pre- observation the researcher found class observation, she conducted a pre- test.
some problems in the way of the English The pre- test was done to measure the
teacher taught in class. The researcher also students’ writing skill and to get the data
found that most of students had low skill in about their score in writing before
writing because the students were lack of implementing the action. The mean of the
vocabulary, and they had low skill in using students’ score in pre- test was 61.77. In
correct capitalization and spelling. In details, the students’ mean score for each
addition, the students could not write aspect of writing in pre- test presented in
correct sentences grammatically, and the Table 1.
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Table 1. Mean score of each writing aspect in pre- test
Score
No. Aspects Corrector Corrector Inter- rate
1 2 Score (%)
1 Content 18.65 18.84 18.74 62.47
2 Organization 13.94 13.94 13.94 69.68
3 Vocabulary 12.74 12.52 12.63 63.15
4 Language Use 13.55 12.87 13.21 52.84
5 Mechanics 3.29 3.23 3.26 65.16
Total Score 62.17 61.4 61.77

Based on table 1, the students’ mean score for The improvement of students’ skill in
each aspect of writing was: 18.65 for writing narrative texts by using cartoon films
content, 13.94 for organization, 12.74 for can be seen by doing more practices in
vocabulary, 13.55 for language use, and 3.29 writing using cartoon films, the students’
for mechanics. The total score for each aspect writing skill has improved. The students’ had
was 61.77. This score came from two an abundance of vocabulary and they used
correctors that was look for it’s inter- rate appropriate vocabulary in their writing. They
score. From the result of the pre- test score, it could write a story with more detailed
could be seen that the students’ writing score information based on the cartoon film and
(61.77) was lower than the KKM (68.0). So, used correct capitalization and spelling; they
it can be identified that writing skill of the produced longer paragraph with sufficient
eight grade students in SMP Negeri 1 supporting details. The students could get the
Sidoharjo Sragen was low. They had little ideas and inspirations to write a narrative text
motivation and interest in English lesson. It after they had watched a cartoon film. The
should be improved by implementing the cartoon films give them a stimulus so that
teaching learning process by using some they could have something to write in their
media that can overcome the problems. In paper.
implementing the teaching learning process, The students could also make a story in
the researcher used cartoon films to improve a good organization and paragraphing
students’ skill in writing narrative texts. The according to the generic structure of a
target of this research was the improvement narrative text. Based on the discussion of the
of students’ writing skill which concerns findings, the researcher constructs a theory
more in the vocabularies, the mechanics of related to the findings. Katchen (1995) states
writing, the grammatical system, organize the that Cartoon Films usually tell a simple story
idea well, and develops the main idea into that is easy to follow. Cartoon story usually
coherent text. has a simple plot that can be exploited for
The result of the research showed that classroom use. By following the cartoon films
there were some improvements. The findings with this simple story line from the beginning
of the results showed (1) the improvement of into the end, the students can get easily
students’ skill in writing narrative texts by understand about the organization of the text.
using carton films, and (2) the effectiveness On the other words, the use of cartoon films
of the teaching learning process when cartoon in classroom can stimulate the students about
films are used in teaching narrative texts. simple story that can be generated by them
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onto a paper in order to make a well- Besides, the students could apply the
structured writing. It can be concluded that appropriate tense in their writing. In this
the students could produce writing in well- action researcher gave enough opportunity to
organized texts consist of orientation, write, the teaching learning focused more on
complication, and resolution. They start their writing skill. Through this action, the students
writing with opening sentences in various could have more practices in writing narrative
ways in the beginning of the story, such as; texts using cartoon films. They could create a
“One upon a time, there was a son called better writing than before including in
Malin Kundang.”; “A long time ago, there constructing the past sentences by using
lived a fisherman. His named Sahala.”, etc. simple past tense. The students could also
Cartoon films could guide the students to change the verb1 into verb2 in correct forms.
write the story in a good order because they It could be seen in the students’ worksheets in
present the systematically story line from the which the mistakes were fewer than before.
beginning, middle, and ending. The cartoon The results of the test also support the
films contain simple story so that they can be positive improvements. This table consist of
easily understood by the Junior High School the improvement the students’ achievement
students. By watching the cartoon films for each aspect.
which contain simple stories, the students can
easily write a story until the end.

Table 2. The Students’ Mean Score in Cycle 2


Score
No. Aspects Inter- rate
Corrector 1 Corrector 2 (%)
Score
1 Content 23.55 20.55 22.05 73.50
2 Organization 15.9 15.84 15.87 79.35
3 Vocabulary 14.52 14.13 14.33 71.63
4 Language use 19.9 16.87 18.39 73.54
5 Mechanics 4.29 4.16 4.23 84.50
Total Score 78.16 71.55 74.9

Table 3. The Improvements of the Students’ Achievement


Score
No. Aspects
Pre- test Post- test 1 Post- test 2
1 Content 18.74 20.91 22.05
2 Organization 13.94 15.33 15.87
3 Vocabulary 12.63 14.49 14.33
4 Language use 13.21 15.89 18.39
5 Mechanics 3.26 4.07 4.23
Total Score 61.77 70.665 74.9

There are some effectiveness of the teaching learning process of writing skill
teaching learning process when cartoon films before the action research was described as
are used in teaching narrative texts. The some students were busy with themselves,
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especially the students at the back. They did process using carton films in the class was
some other activities when starting their improved.
writing such as talking with other students;
operate their phone cell to send a message. CONCLUSION
The effectiveness of the teaching Based on the discussion above, the
learning process of writing skill after the findings of the results show the positive
action research by using cartoon films improvements in students’ writing skill. The
showed that the students were motivated and findings are as follows: (1) The Improvement
confident when they were asked to write of Students’ Skill in Writing Narrative Texts
individually by watching the cartoon films by Using Cartoon Films. The improvement in
first. They did their writing without being students’ writing skill, such as; the students’
asked many times and did not complain had an abundance of vocabulary and used
anymore. By watching the cartoon films, the appropriate vocabulary in their writing; the
students could spend shorter time when they students could write a story with more
were asked to write and most of the students detailed information and used correct
could finish their writing on time. It is capitalization and spelling; the students could
because the cartoon films could help them by make longer paragraph with sufficient
presenting certain topic which can be written supporting details; the students could
down. Some students discussed actively organize their story better from the beginning,
about the cartoon film in their own group middle, and ending; the students could finish
after they watched the cartoon film. their story until the end on time; the students
Cartoon films also made the lesson could make some opening sentences in
more clarity. Cartoon films could be used to various ways better; the students could make
establish a positive ability of the students past sentences better and were more careful in
because its’ retain information in the long- constructing past sentences; the students
term memory than when the information was could change the verb1 into verb2 in correct
only read. The students would be easier to forms and were able to use appropriate
write the story of the cartoon films on a paper vocabulary better. In short, the students could
because they still remembered what they saw write a narrative text well.
and what they heard while the teacher played Based on the research findings above,
the cartoon films. the researcher concludes that teaching writing
The use of discussion in small groups by using cartoon films can improve students’
activities provide opportunity for students to skill in writing narrative texts. They got
clarify their understanding of the materials’ easier in generating and organizing the ideas
content to be learned in classroom. The when they write. The cartoon films that they
discussion in small groups made students watched could give the students certain
active to present their own opinion in their topics. They could write scene by scene on
group and also in other groups. The class the cartoon films so that they would produce
situation became lively with their discussion systematic writing from beginning until the
when they were doing their assignment. It end. The improvement of the students’ skill
indicated that the teaching and learning in writing narrative texts is shown by the
process by using cartoon films effective to improvement of their mean score. The mean
improve students’ skill in writing narrative score of pretest was 61.77. In the post- test 1
texts. In other words, the students’ attitude and post- test 2, the students’ mean score
towards writing during teaching learning showed the improvement. In the post- test 1,
43
the students’ mean score was 70.66 and in the
post- test 2, the students’ mean score was BIBLIOGRAPHY
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